Album: Enki
Band: Melechesh
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: February 27, 2015
Reviewer: Alex Ghali

Five years after the release of the monumental The Epigenesis, Black Metal titans Melechesh have returned with a new offering, Enki. Named after the Babylonian deity of wisdom and the arts, a fitting title for so intricate and massive an album.
The sound on Enki can be described as having molten gold being poured into your ear while visions from beyond…Like their previous works, Enki is both ferocious and intricate; no words can do this album any justice when describing it, but this track-by-track will at least offer a good idea of what to expect.

Tempest Temper Enlil Enraged
A funny name for the opener that sounds like it hastily jam-packed with keywords describing every emotion that describes in this song. All doubts of this album being a worthy successor to The Epigenesis are immediately swept away in a maelstrom of screeching guitars and thundering drums.

The Pendulum Speaks
The title of this song is intriguing, if not mesmerizing, and can only be described as pure gold furiously being forged into a tall and mighty monument for the old gods and their wisdom.

Lost Tribes
The album’s flagship single, featuring the legendary Max Cavalera, and probably the album’s thrashiest track; Cavalera’s vocals offer a deeper companion to Ashmedi’s serpentine shrieks. Lost Tribes’ second theme commences halfway through and unleashes hell with its punishing triple meter beats and locust swarm-guitar riffs.

Multiple Truths
Multiple Truths assaults your ears with heavy grooves spiced with Phrygian goodness. Ashmedi’s vocals here are uncharacteristically sinister even by Melechesh’s standards, being sung in short and rigid spurts.

Enki – Divine Nature Awoken
This number evokes the first instrumental track on The Epigenesis, When Halos of Candles Collide, but this notion is swept away by the entrance of mercilessly heavy tremolo riffs and drums. Sakis Tolis of Rotting Christ fame makes his appearance on this track, and his bone-chilling howls add to the cavernous atmosphere.

Metatron and Man
The best way to describe Metatron and Man is as a twisted symphony of blades and plagues, with legions of Assyrian warriors charging enemy lines on demon-drawn chariots.

The Palm, the Eye, and Lapis Lazuli
Infectiously groovy, this is one of the most fun songs Melechesh have written, and is something to look forward to when they start touring. If you aren’t bouncing your head to the beat, then something is wrong with you.

Doorways to Irakala
Mesmerizing. Nothing else need be said.

The Outsiders
Like the title track of their previous album, The Outsiders serves as the monolithic conclusion to the album. Astronomic themes and crushing vocals descend upon the listener to crush them beneath the relentless storm of sound, and with its brief but haunting outro The Outsiders beautifully concludes Enki.

A Final Word on the Album
Enki represents a culmination of Melechesh’s previous efforts: the raw, thrashy power of Sphynx and Emissaries, the mammoth and intricate passages of The Epigenesis. Although the album feels that it was written in the shadow of The Epigenesis, it can also be said that Melechesh has found its voice anew and is unafraid of recreating itself: with Enki, they have found a launch pad from which to keep leading as innovators in the Black Metal scene.

Rating: 9.5/10

Favorite tracks: Doorways to Irkala, The Palm, the Eye, and Lapis Lazuli, The Outsiders, Multiple Truths.

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